Is it worth doing even if it fails?

Tuesday December 4, 2018

Many things can "succeed" or "fail." Avoid anything that isn't worth doing even if it fails.

If two tasks each have a probability of success and payout, but one is worth doing regardless of success and one is only about payout, it almost doesn't matter what the probabilities and payouts are. One guarantees a good use of time.

This filter also averts unhealthy fixation on "winning" and excessive disappointment with "losing." It lets you focus on the task itself, which is the right focus.

You can't always choose what you have to do. But you can try to find or create value even in endeavors you wouldn't otherwise choose.

Asking "Is it worth doing even if it fails?" encourages healthy things like sports, discourages antisocial things like fraud, and provides a positive direction to move everything in between. I think it's a useful question.